02 May 2010

Labour days

My first full weekend at home since the beginning of April, so it has been a mad rush to catch up with all the work that needed doing in the garden and barnyard. Mike has been supplementing the lower vegetable garden with additional soil and now has tilled all that into the beds so that they're ready for planting. This means that the beds are slightly higher than they've been in the past, so I hope we'll avoid the flooding issues we had at the end of July 2008.

I extracted the first batch of chicken manure compost from the rotating composter. That process (which I started on 11 March) seems to have worked very well - the compost looks great. I've added that to the beds that will hold the potatoes and have started another batch with a fresh load of chicken litter (the temperature of that hit 59°C/138°F this afternoon, so it's cooking away nicely!).

We've planted the sprouting Russet Burbank potatoes that were left over from last year's harvest and all the tomatoes and pepper plants have now been transferred to their own pots. There are around 250 tomato plants - most of which I'm hoping to sell. It's been great having Mike's mum here to help - an extra pair of hands makes a lot of difference at this time of year. On Friday afternoon we got all of the onions and leeks into one of the long beds in the upper vegetable garden, while the brassicas are gradually being put out into one of the other ones. I did the red cabbages just now - I thought I'd sown fewer this year, but there still seem to be rather a lot of them!

There was a tree giveaway at Picton this morning, so we collected three sugar maples and three highbush cranberry shrubs. Which also needed to be planted out today. The soil in the front garden was rock hard, as there's been so little rain of late, so poor Mike had to take the tiller attachment off the tractor and replace it with the back hoe (which he only took off last week) in order to get the trees in the ground. I'm not sure that I'm very popular with him at the moment...

The tulips are just beginning to fade, but they've been looking lovely:

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